Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Though related, the two annual events differ greatly in traditions and tone. Although the theme is death, the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members.
Whereas Halloween is a dark night of terror and mischief, Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. This expression is brilliantly represented in an exhibit at Main Street Arts in Martinez From Oct 28th to Nov 21st with works from three local artists, Eric Carlstrom’s, Denise Hillman, and Dorrie Bosley Langley
Carlstrom’s art is influenced by tattooing and tattoo art. Dia de los Muertos imagery happens to translate well into tattoos, which also suits his style of painting and color pallet.
Hillman has traveled throughout Mexico from the time she was a child. She recently visited Michoacan and Guanajuato during Dia de los Muertos celebrations and was inspired to create a series of paintings and clay sculpture to capture the humorous and festive spirit of the events. The clay catrina skull is part of a series of “Bathing Beauty” sculpture pieces.
Langley, a local artist, and art teacher, has several murals around town and has had her art shown in the Bedford Gallery as well as local co-op galleries. In this fifth year of celebrating Dia de los Muertos in Martinez, Dorrie’s assemblages pay homage to José Guadalupe Posada’s La Catrina. The exhibit contains a variety of paintings, altars, sculptures, catrinas, and cards celebrating Dia de los Muertos. An artist reception is on Nov 3rd, 2pm to 5pm, during Martinez Dia de los Muertos Festival.
Main Street Arts is located at 613 Main Street in Martinez. Exhibit hours are 11am to 4pm Wednesday-Saturday and 10am to 2 pm on Sundays. www.mainstreetarts.net.